Tag Archives: ccie

Some Thoughts on CCIE R&S v5

On the evening of December 3rd, the Twitterverse, IRC, and other geek outlets pretty much exploded with news of the version 5 update to the Routing and Switching track of the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert program, or CCIEv5.

There have been some significant changes in the exam material blueprints, as well as changes in format and underlying technology in the lab exam. Overall, I think the change looks very positive at this point, but I have some thoughts on each of these changes that I’ll share here.

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The Confluence of Experience and Expertise

Recently I was called out to one of my customers, a local college, which had been fighting a variety of disruptive network issues for several days following a campus-wide power-down. After a short phone call, we agreed that I’d better get out there and take a look first-hand at what was going on. Remote work is almost always an option, but I always feel that getting my eyes directly on a problem helps. Sometimes I feel like “The Network Whisperer” when I get out to a customer in trouble — something just speaks to me and points me in the right direction.

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Continuing a couple of posts based on my experience of earning my CCIE, I thought I’d share some Q&A that I came up with. Upon earning my number, I posted a “thank you” email to the IPExpert On-Line Study List to thank members of that list for helping me along the way. I received a number of questions in response to the news, and I wrote up a Q&A based on those questions. I’m reposting that information here for those that may find it of interest.

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My Post-CCIE Reading List

The CCIE journey requires a lot of reading. But it’s often not very enjoyable. You are reading configuration guides, or command references, or study notes consisting of hundreds of bullets. Dry material, at a level of detail that you know usually need not be memorized for real-world practice of the art of networking. Trying to memorize minutia and configuration bits.

It’s been a long time since I could pick up some reading material and not feel like I was slacking off if it wasn’t on the recommended CCIE reading lists. Now that I’m over the exam, I’m looking forward to digging into a number of titles that I’ve been hanging on to for some timeHere, in no particular order (because if I made too strict an order I’d feel like it was another required reading list…) are a subset of titles I’m looking forward to reading over the coming months.

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Journey to Numberland

I passed my CCIE lab and received my number less than a week ago (on 21 Feb, 2013), so a lot of things are still sinking in. Just after I announced the news, a past co-worker of mine asked me for some details on my journey. The following is a recap of the timeline and milestones in my CCIE journey that I provided him in response to his query. I hope to expand on some of the topics mentioned but I thought I’d share this timeline as it may be of interest to those who are considering the great journey from competent network engineer to insane, fire-breathing network maniac.

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